If you’re looking to expand your business into overseas markets or want to publish your content in more than one language, you’ll be in need of a particular type of translation service called ‘localization’. Localization is essentially translation, but translation created in such a way that the reader would have no idea the text was ever written in another language. This means that as well as being stylistically and grammatically correct, the translation must take cultural references and sensitivities into account, while also ensuring that the formatting of things like numbers and currencies are correct.

(graphic showing a few differences between Turkish/English formatting)

What does good localization require?

Good localization requires a translator who has an excellent understanding of the source language and it’s culture, but who can write with flair and style in the target language whilst paying attention to the cultural aspects of a text which might be ‘tricky’ to translate (find an example of transcreation). This inevitably means that the translator must be a native speaker of the target language. Only flawless, flowing writing is good enough for great localization. Furthermore, if you’re translating into several languages, English is likely to be the pivot language (the language used to translate into all other languages needed), so it’s vitally important that your English translation is of the highest quality.

How does good localization help your business?

Whatever you publish (be it a website, marketing copy or content), that text is a representation of your brand – your brand’s voice and its story – and that has to appeal to the audience you’re addressing. If a text representing your brand is poorly written, not only are you missing the opportunity to develop and promote that identity, the customer’s trust (link to blog post on the effects of mistakes in copy) in what you have to say is already diminished, and in the worst cases, your message may be entirely unclear. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes; if you landed on a webpage or opened a brochure in your language that was full of grammatical errors and awkward sentences, how compelled would you be to buy that product or service? How about if that copy crafted your brand’s story and message in its own unique, inspiring voice?

Want to see some numbers? Click here to see the business case for good localization (link to article on numbers)